Among the Dutch

Living abroad for a period can be intense and ask a lot of you.  We would like to introduce you to a few of the uniquely Dutch things you can expect while living with us in Zwolle. If you choose to do a programme at Viaa, we will try to make you feel as welcome as possible!   

Living in the Netherlands

During your Exchange study programme, you will learn a lot about the Netherlands and the Dutch way of living. For example, you will find out that if you would like to hang out with some of the Dutchies, you have to make an “afspraak” (i.e. appointment) with them beforehand. Another example is the Dutch directness. Dutch say what they mean and do what they say. Straightforward and honest. You will learn this while working on a project or when asking your host family for advice.   

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Dutch host families and accommodation

When you do your exchange programme at Viaa, you have the chance to stay with a host family in Zwolle or a nearby community. Most of our students choose to live with a Dutch host family. Living with a Dutch host is one of the most essential and rewarding aspects of the Exchange programmes at Viaa. And, it turns out to be a great way to learn what ”gezellig” means.   

The host families usually play an essential part in students’ study abroad experience and will unconsciously teach you about Dutch culture as no one else can. When making host family placements, we will try to accommodate the requests made in your housing forms as best as we can. The term “host family” can refer to a family of any size, including a single-person household. You may end up living with a small family (only one person) or a large family (ten or more).   

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It is also possible to find your own accommodation. Viaa does not have on-campus living options. There are a few possibilities to find your own room or studio and we urge you to start on time, as there is a shortage of student accommodation in Zwolle. You can do this through Airbnb or Kamernet, and on Facebook, there are groups in which tenants or roommates offer rooms or studios. Prices go from € 250 – € 500 per month for a room. We are happy to assist you in your search.  

Buddy programme

During your study at Viaa, you get in contact with Dutch Viaa students. At Viaa we offer a buddy programme to students where international students get connected with a Dutch buddy. Someone who can advise you before arrival in the Netherlands, but also someone to hang out with during your time in Zwolle, or to go with on excursions in the Netherlands.